Ayn Rand supercharged the anti-Communist witch-hunt in Hollywood, in which the FBI classified "It's a Wonderful Life" as secret Communist propaganda


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/26/rigged-marketplace-of-ideas.html


#2

Rand was basically a demonstration of the fact that it is easier and more profitable to be a second rate thinker and writer if you express right wing views, because the Right has more money to pay you and less discrimination. I could make a rather long list of the people who demonstrate this today but it would be libellous.

Which is why it’s rather funny that the commonest accusation made against writers and artists who supported the Soviet system was that they (too) were second rate apparatchiki. Gospodin pot, meet Mr. Kettle.


#3


#4

I think you may be a little generous here.


#5

Well, Pottersville is the logical outcome of pro-business policy that frees the potential of the domineering capitalist from the strictures of government regulation and the sentimentalism of the “discontented, lazy rabble”: a company town.

The “thrifty working class” in the monopsony labour market of companies owned by Galtian tycoon Potter spend what little money (or scrip) remains after paying rent on Potter-owned slums and after purchasing necessities at Potter-owned stores at joyless bars and casinos and striptease shows (all businesses that exist only at the sufferance of and remain permanently in debt to Potter’s bank).


#6

Like many churches, the church of Rand provides a framework for a set of beliefs that their believers were going to have anyway. And unlike most successful churches, the church of Rand pretty much died with the passing of it’s founder.

I don’t think that a world without Rand would be dissimilar to our current world.


#7

This must have happened:


#8

For members of a dead cult her acolytes still seem to have exercised a lot of political and economic power in the U.S. and elsewhere over the past 35 years.

That is true. Libertarian greedpigs would have found another subpar author and “thinker” to justify their actions. But we don’t live in that world, so we see people in positions of power and influence handing out “Atlas Shrugged” with the same zeal as a $cientologist giving away free copies of “Dianetics.”


#9

Ayn Rand was pissed that ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ wasn’t about her hero, serial killer William Edward Hickman.


Peter Thiel: the "libertarian" who loves mass government surveillance, monopolies, and censorship
#10

…and she kicked puppies for fun. Because people who dislike “Its a Wonderful Life” have no soul.

I never considered Rand’s ideas to be particularly coherent. At best her views are best described as “Bizzaro World Communism”. Just take whatever the Communists said and do the exact opposite.


#11

It’s blatantly clear that Rand was a Soviet plant. And apparently one that has paid off handsomely in the near total destruction of the US as a civilization.


#12

I have suspected that before now. It makes more sense (in the short term) to send someone with destructive ideas to an enemy country than to send them to labour camps.

Of course, you could argue that Germany had the idea first when they sent Lenin back to Russia during WWI.


#13

Secret communist propaganda?

A movie literally about God keeping a man from killing himself. A man who’s managed to direct factory jobs to a town that needs work, and a guy giving from his own pocket to keep a bank run from causing everything collapsing.

How is this communism?


#14

Whaaaa? It’s incredibly common for US conservatives to talk about the two biggest influences on their lives being the Bible and Ayn Rand (apparently without awareness of the irony involved there). The church not only lives on, it runs the Republican party.

Because it’s about people being decent rather than selfish a-holes (and thus working contrary to Rand’s philosophy), apparently.


#15

If we’re being pedantic, all the rates of the Royal Navy applied to ships big enough to be in an actual sea battle, down to 6th rate.
So OK, 7th rate on the RN scale.


#16

I learnt a new word


#17

In case it hasn’t been done yet:

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

[Kung Fu Monkey – Ephemera, blog post, March 19, 2009]”

― John Rogers


#18

I would say the movie is more Socialist. Do you agree?


#19

To be fair, the only genre of film she unreservedly found of merit was snuff films.


#20

HUAC had a very narrow view of acceptable thought.